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CMS equIP | Helping start-ups scale

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CMS equIP – turning ideas into success stories

Establishing and growing your own company requires a great idea, as well as determination and the ability to inspire others with your vision. The right support is clearly essential to make that vision a reality. In addition to factors such as personal energy, stamina and a lucky break (or two), building a sustainable business means taking key decisions at the right time in order to create the conditions for success.

This is where we come in. As a committed team, we can provide start-ups with valuable support and guidance. Our high-quality legal advice and extensive network of contacts ensure a solid basis for the future. Our mission is to serve you – the founding team – and your company.

Entering your first round of financing with legally-robust backing from expert advisors

The ability to innovate is becoming an increasingly critical success factor in today’s economy. Putting creative ideas into practice in a legally compliant manner is a huge challenge for any company, but especially for start-ups – mainly because legislation struggles to keep up with technological advances. It is therefore hardly surprising that 51% of company founders in Germany regard the political and legal environment in their country as poor or very poor (The European Startup Monitor).

Against this backdrop, it is important to have a strong advisor to help you navigate the legal jungle. Our experience shows that early involvement of professional legal advisors leads to start-ups being assessed much more positively during the financing process. A legally watertight business model obviously makes it easier for company founders to win over potential investors.

Our equIP programme is designed to meet this need. We offer innovative companies support around developing promising business ideas, especially in the tech, media and IT fields. With us at your side, you can be confident of laying a key cornerstone for the successful financing of your start-up and its future development.

Start-up advice for CMS equIP members

As part of our equIP programme, we offer members a bundle of legal services specially tailored to start-ups, plus access to our network. This includes:

  • Legal advice at discounted rates across all areas, geared to the tech, media and IT sectors. You benefit from our many years of experience in working with innovative companies of all sizes and in every growth phase.
  • Networking with the relevant players in the industry.

We support start-ups – in every sense of the word

Supporting young, innovative entrepreneurs has long been a passion of ours. We can therefore draw on decades of experience in the venture capital sector to support you as a company founder.

  • We know both sides of the business: Our team of lawyers has advised well-known start-ups and investors in all phases, from seed through venture capital financing rounds to exit and beyond.
  • Driving future change together: Our teams across areas such as Technology, Media & Communications (TMC), Financial Services and Energy are always at the forefront when it comes to advising on the latest tech trends.
  • Benefit from our reach: Thanks to our multinational capability, our reach extends far beyond Germany, making us a reliable partner for international challenges.

Join the CMS equIP programme today!

CMS equIP programme
Roadmap equIP

Seize the opportunity and apply for the equIP programme today

As a member of our equIP programme, you will benefit from a dedicated local team that is enthusiastic about working with start-ups. And one that regards the relationship with your company as an investment in an idea it believes in.

For a period of three years, your company will receive a 50% discount on our legal advice services up to a total annual fee of EUR 25,000 (based on our standard hourly rates). Our services include:

Kick-off meeting

A free meeting allows both sides to get to know each other. We sit down with you to take a first look at the business model. Our experts from the TMC (Technology, Media and Communication) team and Venture Capital excellence cluster will discuss the appropriate next steps with you and draw up a roadmap of how we can best support your plans.

Individual advice on an innovative business model or core business issues

Innovative business models often push the legal boundaries. Our legal advice on specific issues relating to the business model will help you place things on a solid footing. This can involve regulatory aspects (e.g. cryptocurrencies, fintech, mobility) or completely new issues that are not covered by the current legal framework. Our experts help you find the best legal options for implementing the chosen model.

Legal health check: getting your company ready for the next step

The focus here is on a thorough legal examination of your company. An initial legal health check supported by CMS’s own Smart Operations unit at the EUREF campus in Berlin sees companies receiving advice from the viewpoint of a potential investor. We can record the results in a CMS legal fact book and set up a data room for you, if desired. This gives investors a quick overview of all the important legal aspects of the company and thus accelerates the investment process. By keeping the data room and legal fact book updated, we can prepare your company for the next rounds of financing.

Networking and training

Our firm has a strong network of contacts in the innovation space and venture capital sector, based on many years of close client relationships. We would like to share that experience and network with you. In addition to networking events, we offer training courses to raise your awareness of important legal issues relevant to a founding team and also brief your employees.


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A CMS team from the Frank­furt of­fice by Dr Flori­an Plage­mann, Dr To­bi­as Kili­an and Dr Heike Wag­n­er ad­vised Chem­Square on all leg­al as­pects of the fin­an­cing round.
CMS equIP pro­gramme: New format for ad­vising in­nov­at­ive di­git­al and tech...
The ob­ject­ive of equIP is to sup­port se­lec­ted high po­ten­tial start-ups via ex­clus­ive ser­vices and in­ter­na­tion­al full-ser­vice leg­al ad­vice from CMS...
CMS ad­vises Wel­ling­ton and HBM as lead in­vestors in Series D round of fin­an­cing...
A CMS team headed by Mu­nich-based part­ner Stefan-Ul­rich Müller ad­vised lead in­vestors Wel­ling­ton Part­ners and HBM on leg­al as­pects of the trans­ac­tion. Both in­vestors are long-stand­ing cli­ents and reg­u­larly rely on CMS for leg­al sup­port...
CMS ad­vises lead in­vestor Ponooc on series B round of fin­an­cing for elec­tric...
Dutch ven­ture cap­it­al fund Ponooc B.V. has led the series B fin­an­cing round for Ber­lin-based mo­bil­ity start-up unu GmbH. Ex­ist­ing in­vestors in­clud­ing Cap­nam­ic Ven­tures, French firm VC-Fund IRIS Cap­it­al, NRW.BANK and oth­er private lenders also made fur­ther
CMS ad­vises tado° on new fin­an­cing round worth USD 50 mil­lion
Tech­no­logy com­pany tado GmbH has com­pleted an­oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al round of fin­an­cing worth a total of USD 50 mil­lion...
Ini­tial Coin Of­fer­ings – An in­sight in­to the reg­u­lat­ory en­vir­on­ment
CMS ad­vises Cir­cu­lar­ity Cap­it­al on in­vest­ment in Ber­lin-based Grover
Ber­lin-based Grover has com­pleted a Series A round of fin­an­cing totalling EUR 37 mil­lion...
May 2018
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CMS ad­vises eGym on ac­quis­i­tion of mo­bile apps di­vi­sion of US firm Net­pulse
Mu­nich-based sports tech start-up eGym is ac­quir­ing the mo­bile apps di­vi­sion of Cali­for­ni­an firm Net­pulse Inc. This move sees the com­pany fur­ther ex­pand­ing its di­git­al port­fo­lio...
CMS ad­vises tech­no­logy star­tup uber­all on round of fin­an­cing
uber­all GmbH, a spe­cial­ist in di­git­al loc­a­tion mar­ket­ing, has com­pleted its series B round of fin­an­cing, rais­ing a total of around USD 25 mil­lion....
eGym se­cures EUR 25 mil­lion loan from European In­vest­ment Bank with aid...
Mu­nich-based eGym GmbH has been gran­ted a loan of up to EUR 25 mil­lion by the European In­vest­ment Bank (EIB), with the ac­tu­al fin­an­cing be­ing provided by the European Fund for Stra­tegic In­vest­ments...
CMS ad­vises Im­mat­ics Bi­o­tech­no­lo­gies on fin­an­cing round worth USD 58 mil­lion
Im­mat­ics Bi­o­tech­no­lo­gies, a bi­otech firm with sites in Tübin­gen, Mu­nich and Hou­s­ton, has com­pleted its Series E round of fin­an­cing, rais­ing a total of USD 58 mil­lion. The ex­ist­ing life sci­ence in­vestors, which in­clude di­evini Hopp Bi­oTech hold­ing and Well